FREE iOS, tvOS, AND macOS SOFTWARE for 09/2018

software
I have been maintaining a list of free software for iOS, tvOS and OS X. You may find some of these programs of interest. I have also attempted to mark which Apple OS the title is targeted at (iOS, macOS, tvOS) as well as the category of the App.

This is NOT a curated list. All I know about these titles is what you see below. None have been tried or tested by me.

September 2018

  1. iOS/Education – Have you ever want to learn to play the piano or guitar, but just didn’t have the time to get to a class? Have kids who need a tutor in math or English? Check out TakeLessons. It’s an app that brings together a community of educators in sorts of disciplines with students looking to learn. The app itself is a mobile version of the desktop program. While the mobile version has a smaller set of courses, it’s just as functional, if not more because of its mobility. You can download TakeLessons on your iPhone or iPad, which means lessons go with you. No more driving to them! Free from the App Store
  2. iOS/Business – If you are a specialist in a field or are very knowledgeable in any specific area of interest, you can turn that expertise into extra income using just your phone and your brain. All you have to do is download Fibler. It’s free and easy to use. Fibler brings together a community of experts from all sorts of subject matter and areas of interest. As a provider of advice and information, all you do is create profile and set your rates. Rates will be for basic phones calls, video conferencing and chat sessions. You can set your own pricing for each type of communication; and, if you are not sure where to start, you can always search the community for what others charge based on their time providing services on the app and level of expertise in that subject. Rates are also per minute, so sessions can be short if needed. Free on the App Store
  3. iOS/Games – Full Fat, the handheld gaming experts, are thrilled to announce the release of their latest twitchy, motion-sensitive mobile platformer, Tilt ‘n Go 1.1.2 for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Android devices. Tilt ‘n Go 1.1.2 is free and is available worldwide in the App Store in the Games category. Download from App Store
  4. iOS/Games – Full Fat, the handheld gaming experts, are bouncing of the walls with excitement over their new gravity-controlling ball-roller for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Android devices, Gravity Helix 1.0.1. Gravity Helix 1.0.1 is free and is available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Games category. Download from iTunes
  5. iOS/Games – Full Fat, the handheld gaming experts, are thrilled to announce the release of their latest hyper-casual world-cup inspired title, Pop Shot! Soccer 1.1.1 for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Android devices. Pop Shot! Soccer 1.1.1 is free and is available worldwide through the App Store in the Games category.  Download from App Store
  6. iOS/Games – Marking the beginning of the new football season, Independent developer Go-Play-Games today announced that Club Soccer Director 2019 (CSD 2019), the latest iteration of its hit football management series has kicked off on The App Store. This latest version features a raft of improvements and innovations over its predecessor including a huge choice of 38 leagues from new countries (including Portugal, Holland, Turkey, Russia, Scotland, Brazil), thousands more players and staff, new revenue opportunities, revamped AI and a new landscape view to work better on tablets. Club Soccer Director 2019 is Free (with In-App Purchases) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Games category. Download from iTunes
  7. iOS/Productivity – Apps On The Move is announcing the launch of beorg 2.3 for iPhone and iPad. beorg is a task management app based on plain text files. beorg can be used to structure projects, keep track of tasks and take notes. Everything is summarised in a weekly agenda and filterable task list, with notifications reminding users about upcoming task items. beorg 2.3 is Free to download and use (with In-App Purchases) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Productivity category. The Dark Mode extension can be purchased in the app for $0.99 (USD) with further extensions planned. Download from iTunes
  8. iOS/Games – 1Games today is proud to announce the release of X-Wolf Online 1.1, its fun-to-play SF animal arcade/adventure game developed for iOS and Android devices. In X-Wolf Online, you grow to become the best hunter by chasing and hunting monster and wolves living in the space. With superpower wolves, you must subdue and hunt alien species who resist and come at you. You must bravely confront the attacks by strong and rough enemies and give the fear of death. X-Wolf Online 1.1 is Free (with In-App Purchases) and available worldwide through the App Store in the Games category. Download from iTunes
  9. iOS/Food & Drink – Gormaya has announced that Substitutions for iOS 11 & greater has been updated to version 6.0. Substitutions features a top to bottom redesign and new Free price. Version 6.0 has been enhanced with a new Slide Over and Split View multitasking on iPads and relavent Amazon product links for several substitutions. Substitutions 6.0 is now Free and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Food & Drink category. Download from iTunes
  10. iOS/Social Networking – Polling has been around since the beginning of time. People just want to know what others are thinking, or how their opinions stack up with what is trending in the general public. Good pollsters get findings from a variety of sources and take care to ensure that responses are not tampered with. That said, you need a system that helps you get access to and create polls in a safe environment that also prevents voter tampering. Available for free from the App Store
  11. iOS/Business – Complete System Solutions, Inc. is pleased to announce the release of Spoiler Alert Food Safety 1.5.1, an update to their popular mobile application. Spoiler Alert was specifically designed to change the way the food service industry labels, tracks and monitors the age of food product from fresh to finished. Easily configured for your products, built-in alerts take the guesswork out of what stage your product is in allowing owners and managers to monitor, even over multiple locations. Spoiler Alert Food Safety 1.5.1 is Free (with In-App Purchases) and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Business category.  Download from iTunes
  12. iOS/Games – As a passenger, virtually everyone has ridden a subway (a.k.a. metro, underground, tube, etc.) at one time or another. But very few people have ever experienced what life is like for subway train operators, whose job is to keep everyone safe by skillfully navigating their train day after day. While performing that important job takes years of training and testing, now anyone can experience the next best thing by downloading the fun and free app “Subway Train Simulator 2D”. Subway Train Simulator 2D (v1.2.18) is Free (with In-App Purchases) and available worldwide through the App Store in the Games category. It is also available for MacOS. Download from iTunes
  13. iOS/Health & Fitness – KerCodex is pleased to announce the release and immediate availability of “Color’Mate” version 1.0 for iPhone and iPad devices. Color’Mate was designed with the help of colorblinds to mitigate two of their main problems: understanding how colors relate to one another, and help discriminate colors that appear very similar. You quickly switch between modes by simply rotating your device to portrait or landscape. Color’Mate (v1.0) is free to try and available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Health & Fitness category. A small in-App purchase will get you rid of KerCodex messages. Download from iTunes
  14. iOS/Utilities – Scandy LLC today is pleased to announce the release of version 1.4.8 of Scandy Pro for iOS. This latest release offers measurement tools, so that users can take linear measurements of scans by dropping points directly onto the mesh. Scandy Pro 1.4.7 for iOS is free to download. Users can capture 3D scans and inspect the mesh with viewing tools before deciding whether to save the file. Every user is given a free scan save per week. Users may opt to purchase additional scans for $0.99 per scan. Scandy also offers unlimited saves with subscriptions: Weekly Unlimited for $2.99, Monthly Unlimited for $7.99, and Yearly Unlimited for $59.99 (USD).  Download from iTunes
  15. iOS/Travel – If you are looking for the best deal on hotel rooms or flights, it’s so easy to go to one of those price comparison sites and let them do all the work for you. With so many ride options out there, wouldn’t it be nice to have the same comparison shopping tool to help you figure out if Uber or Lyft or any other option will work best for you, either by price, proximity, availability, mode of transport, and more? Well…now you can. Download Cabstr and see how easy it is to find a ride fast. The app is free and it is very easy to use. All you need to provide is either an email address or mobile number. It asks you to confirm app install using a code it will send you, and then you are all set. All you have to do is punch in your destination and Cabstr will then list all ride options for you in an easy to read format. Free on the App Store
  16. iOS/Games – Singapore-based indie mobile game studio Glassfire Games is proud to announce the release of their satirical mobile game called “Where’s Najib?,” version 1.1.2 for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch device, which is currently available on Apple’s App Store. Where’s Najib? 1.1.2 is free and is available worldwide through the App Store in the Games category. Download from App Store
  17. iOS/Games – Looking for a fun new game that lets you choose who you want to play against? It’s like playing Candy Crush, but better and with more milestones to meet and challenges to compete for. Actual game play is very similar to what you’ve seen with other matching games where you aim to match tiles and clear the gaming board to earn points. What makes Klikit unique is the boundaries within which you can play. Free on the App Store
  18. macOS/Business – BKeeney Software Inc. launches BKS Report Studio, a simple database reporting tool that features a visual interface, templates, and editing features that allow users to create reports without writing SQL. BKS Report Studio 1.0.1 is available now for Mac and Windows. Download it from the website for free today. BKS Report Studio 1.0.1 is also available worldwide through the Mac App Store in the Business category. Demo reports will be watermarked. Purchase a license for $175 (USD) to permanently remove the watermark and unlock the export-to-file functions. Purchase from Mac App Store
  19. iOS/Music – JSplash Apps is proud to announce the release of Bass Tuner BT1 1.0.1, an extremely accurate chromatic tuner for tuning bass instruments for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch devices. Bass Tuner BT1 is free and is available worldwide exclusively through the App Store in the Music category. An ad-free Pro version is also available for purchase. The app is available in English, French, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, and Spanish languages. Bass Tuner BT1 1.0.1
  20. iOS/Photos & Video – Future Moments is proud to announce the release of AudioFix: For Videos 1.7 for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. AudioFix: For Videos can instantly improve, boost, extract or mute the audio in your videos. Import a video and AudioFix immediately cleans its sound and maximizes its volume. Free to download so you can hear the improvement and try before you export. AudioFix: For Videos 1.7 is free and is available worldwide exclusively through the Photo & Video category. Convenient in-app purchases are available. Download from App Store

Have You Heard of Longreads?

Reading – I came across the Longreads website today. It is the first I had heard of them. What is Longreads? Per their website:

Longreads, founded in 2009, is dedicated to helping people find and share the best storytelling in the world. We feature and produce in-depth investigative pieces, profiles, interviews, commentary, book reviews, audio stories, and personal essays.

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The articles cover a wide range of topics. That said, I didn’t find too many there I wanted to read other than “We’re Not Ready for Mars“, but then I have rather narrow interests. If you enjoy reading the popular magazines, you may find this site of interest.

You can, and I have, subscribed to their RSS feed (https://longreads.com/feed/). Vienna is the RSS reader of choice on my Mac.

This may be a site you want to visit, subscribe to or follow.

macOS New App Release – Smultron 11

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Product Announcements Peter Borg Apps of Stockholm, Sweden has released Smultron 11, their powerful text editor for macOS. Smultron is powerful and confident without being complicated. Its elegance and simplicity helps everyone being creative and to write and edit all sorts of texts. Use Smultron to write everything from a web page, a script, a to do list, a novel to a whole app.

Smultron is designed for both beginners and experts. It is a joy to use and it has all the text tools one needs. And everyone can use it because it is translated into many languages and has full support for accessibility.

Here is what is new in Smultron 11:

  • Unified one window design – see all documents in the sidebar
  • Columns – sort, rearrange and delete tabular data
  • Language – see what words are nouns and verbs and so on (not for all languages and only in 10.14)
  • Focus – concentrate on the text without distractions
  • Improved dark mode (dark mode only available in 10.14)
  • Split window
  • Faster
  • Improved advanced find, hex view and syntax coloring
  • New syntax support: Crystal, Quanty, Rebol
  • Many other small improvements and fixes

System Requirements: macOS High Sierra 10.13 or later

Pricing and Availability:
Smultron 11 is available now for US$ 14.99 (or an equivalent amount in other currencies) through the website. Upgrade and site licenses are available.

macOS New App Release – BKS Report Studio

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Product Announcements BKeeney Software Inc. of Lenexa, Kansas has released BKS Report Studio, a simple database reporting tool that features a visual interface, templates, and editing features that allow users to create reports without writing SQL.

Designed for every skill level, BKS Report Studio operates like a layout editor by allowing users to drag and drop data sources, labels, images, and even barcodes to build powerful reports, quickly. Reports can be printed directly or can be exported in several file formats. Created by a need to simplify and extend the database reporting process, BKS Report Studio focuses on making the report design phase easier.

BKS Report Studio features several functions:

  • Drag & Drop layout design for report templates
  • Export as PDF documents or print directly
  • SQL engine generates the necessary query and gathers data
  • Filter data beforehand, or live at runtime with dynamic runtime filtering
  • Boolean display is fully customizable and supports Emoji
  • Format numbers, and perform scripts on bands as they are generated

Connect to the most popular database engines, or connect to any database engine that provides an ODBC driver. BKS Report Studio supports these database engines: CubeSQL, MySQL, ODBC, PostgreSQL, and SQLite.

Pricing and Availability:
BKS Report Studio 1.0.1 is available now for Mac and Windows. Download it from the website for free today. BKS Report Studio 1.0.1 is also available worldwide through the Mac App Store in the Business category. Demo reports will be watermarked. Purchase a license for $175 (USD) to permanently remove the watermark and unlock the export-to-file functions through the website.

Coffee at War

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WWIICoffee – I saw this advertisement from 1943 sent out on Twitter by @ArchivistWWII today. I thought that it tied in with the post on coffee rationing I made a short time ago. I guess the 20:1 ratio was important during those times of conservation and shortage, but I don’t see anything in that ad that talks about how great the flavor was. I guess that something hot and tasting close to coffee was better than nothing in that time of hardship.

This is only one of the many advertisements that @ArchivistWWII has posted on Twitter from the War years.


If you are a student of the World War II era in history, you may find my pages “World War II Sources” (a collection of museums, websites, Facebook pages, and Twitter feeds with information on the World War II era in history) and “World War II Timeline” of interest.

macOS New App Release – Dejal Simon 4.3

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Product Announcements Dejal Systems of Portland, Oregon has released Dejal Simon 4.3, the essential server monitoring tool for macOS. It checks web pages, FTP and DNS servers, local or remote ports or volumes, and other services for changes or failures, and notifies you via email, sound, speech, Twitter, SMS, HTML reports, and other means.

Add tests to Simon to track updated sites, to alert you when an important server goes down or recovers, check on Samba SMB, take periodic screenshots of the system, track posts and new comments on your or friends’ blogs, check for web mail, make sure a key application is running, get notifications of updates to favorite news and entertainment websites, keep an eye on auctions, and many other uses.

Services include Web (HTTP) to check web pages (including secure ones, and supporting POST and cookies), FTP files and directory listings, DNS, Ping servers, see Twitter updates, watch a local Application, capture periodic Screenshots, watch for System Log Errors, and more. Plus, you can easily add your own services via custom port connections, AppleScripts, shell scripts, or Perl, PHP, Python, etc.

Use filters to avoid dynamic content and detect changes in the output of the service and other filters. You can look at multiple portions, or the 10th occurrence, find via simple text matching or powerful regular expressions. You can also remove HTML tags or numbers from the text, result in a change or failure if some text is found or missing, only detect a change if a number changes by some threshold, or is out of range, and many more possibilities.

Receive notification of changes, failures, and/or recoveries via various Actions, auto-generated Email messages, Growl notifications, Twitter updates or direct messages, SMS messages, an audible Sound, or customizable Speech. You can use custom scripts and port sessions for notifiers too.

HTML reports enable remote viewing of a summary and/or details of Simon monitoring. Reports can be saved to a local web server, or uploaded remotely. Customizable templates (with several examples provided) allow embedding in a web page, using a compact format suitable for viewing on PDAs and cellphones, creating a RSS feed, and more.

Version 4.3 is a free update for licensed Simon 4 customers. Changes include:

  • Mojave dark mode and compatibility
  • Added the ability to follow or not follow a meta refresh for each test
  • Several improvements to the pause and auto-pause functions
  • A number of refinements of services and filters
  • Updated the default data
  • Plus many other improvements

Language Support: English, French, German, Chinese

System Requirements:

  • Intel Mac
  • OS X version 10.10 or later
  • 60 MB disk space

Pricing and Availability:
Dejal Simon 4.3 is available for a limited time for $59.00 USD (normally $99.00), and available as a full-featured demo. This is a free update for licensed Simon 4 users, with upgrades from version 3 available for $29.00 (normally $49.00). Simon is also available via Setapp.

Book Review: “Assassin’s Run”

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Book Reviews – “Assassin’s Run” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Ward Larsen (https://www.wardlarsen.com). Mr. Larsen has published ten novels. This is the fifth in his “David Slaton” series.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in contemporary Europe and North Africa. The primary character is former Israeli assassin, David Slaton.

Slaton, his wife, and young son have disappeared, or at least they thought that they had. While sailing along the coast of Italy, they are surprised when Anna Sorensen, a pretty young CIA agent seeks them out. A Russian Oligarch has been assassinated by a sniper nearby. Slaton was a sniper for Israel and now word is that the Russians are looking for him as the shooter.

Sorensen convinces Slaton and his wife that their safest action is for Slaton to help identify who the assassin actually is. Reluctantly Slaton agrees and before long he is deep into the investigation. It soon becomes clear that the Russian Oligarch was somehow plotting with two others. Together they are behind some kind of smuggling operation connected to Saudi Arabia. There is more there than a simple smuggling operation though. Slaton and Sorensen must stay alive, discover the plan and try to stop it.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 9.5 hours I spent reading this 358-page thriller. I liked the characters in this novel. Slaton is a strong lead that is easy to like. The plot is good and not obvious. The novel reads well as a stand-alone read even though it is the fourth in the series. The cover art is OK, though I think it could have been better. I give this novel a 4.5 (rounded up to a 5) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Optimizing Your Coffee Consumption

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Coffee – I came across the article “How to optimize caffeine (and improve your productivity)” today which I thought had many good suggestions about how to drink our coffee for optimum effectiveness. Since coffee and the caffeine it contains gives us a boost by blocking adenosine molecules which make us feel sleepy, it is important to drink coffee before we start to feel groggy. By then the adenosine molecules have already bonded and the caffeine will have far less effect.

In general, the article has these suggestions we should follow for optimum caffeine stimulation:

  1. WAKE UP BEFORE YOU CAFFEINATE – delay coffee until 0930
  2. CAFFEINATE BEFORE YOU CRASH – drink coffee before the adenosine molecules bind
  3. TAKE A CAFFEINE NAP – drink coffee then take a 15-minute nap when feeling tired
  4. MAINTAIN ALTITUDE WITH GREEN TEA – swap high dosage coffee for lower dosage tea over a longer period
  5. BE STRATEGIC – drink coffee just before a boost of energy is needed for an important task
  6. LEARN YOUR LAST CALL FOR CAFFEINE – the half-life of caffeine is 5-6 hours, don’t drink it too late in the day

I think these are all very good suggestions, though I am not generally waiting until 0930 for my first cup. I am up between 0630 and 0730. I like my coffee earlier. While the caffeine nap sounds like a good idea, I doubt that many can actually do that while working.

Overall I do think that most would be better off if they think about their coffee and caffeine consumption instead of just sipping away blindly.

macOS New App Release – Silverstack Offload Manager

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Product Announcements Pomfort of Munich, Germany, a leading provider of professional software solutions for digital media assets and color management in motion picture and broadcast production, has released Silverstack Offload Manager. The Silverstack Offload Manager is based on the proven Silverstack copy and verification technology, and enables a secure, transparent, and easy handling of camera backups.

The Silverstack Offload Manager is tailored to the needs of anyone backing up camera footage on set. It offers an intuitive and highly effective way to complete all offload tasks for productions of any size and any budget. All offloaded media can be documented in clearly structured and automatically created offload reports.

The Silverstack Offload Manager supports all kind of camera formats including RAW sequences, as well as photos, sound files, and other production documents. This gives the user full flexibility to work in any kind of production environment.

The software is based on the market-leading Silverstack copy and verification technology, that productions around the world have trusted in for years. All files are copied using the common checksum methods xxHash, MD5, and SHA1. A two-step copy process consisting of the copy, as well as a separate verification step, makes sure that all backups are complete.

The Silverstack Offload Manager enables an intuitive and easy to handle copy process that gives users full transparency about their copy results. The automatically created offload reports document all copy jobs, and confirm that all offload tasks have been processed.

The Offload Manager comes with an additional benefit for productions that already work with Silverstack XT: During the backup process, the Silverstack Offload Manager extracts all camera metadata in the background. This metadata can be exported to Silverstack XT, where users can then manage, playback, and QC the project if required.

Features in the Silverstack Offload Manager:

  • Single- or multi-destination backup of camera cards, with support for all camera formats
  • Automatic creation of comprehensive offload reports to document all copy jobs
  • Highly secure handling of camera footage, including the use of checksum methods xxHash, MD5, and SHA1
  • Two-step copy and verification process to ensure copy completeness
  • Export of projects, including camera metadata, to Silverstack XT and Silverstack Lab

“With the Silverstack Offload Manager, Pomfort has created a very compact and handy tool that can easily be used by anyone who is backing up camera footage on set”, says Vincent Zettl, DIT and long-term user of Silverstack. “The Offload Manager is perfect for smaller productions, that often don’t need the whole data management functionality of Silverstack, but still want to be sure that all their backups are done securely. For bigger productions, I can see myself using the Offload Manager to run copy jobs on a second machine, and then manage all data in Silverstack XT.”

System Requirements: Intel Mac with Mac OS X 10.12 or higher

Pricing and Availability
The Silverstack Offload Manager is available as a 1-year license for USD 139 / EUR 119, or as a project license starting from USD 35 / EUR 29.
The Silverstack Offload Manager can be purchased at Pomfort’s web store. A 10-day free trial version is available for download.